Locals 619 and 669 serve food to displaced residents in the wake of a devastating tornado

Local 420 member and his wife organize 5k walk and fundraiser

Fourth-generation Steamfitters Local 420 Philadelphia journeyman John Plasha, Jr., and his wife, Ashley, organized a 5k walk and fundraiser for the Angel Names Association. 

Angel Names Association is a nonprofit organization that aims to ease the financial burden imposed by stillbirth, provide support programs and services for families enduring the trauma of stillbirth, and raise money for stillbirth research. 

More than 26,000 babies are stillborn in the United States every year. John and Ashley have a personal connection to the Angel Names Association. 

On Feb. 28, 2022, their son, Emry, born at 9 lbs. 2 oz., left this world the same day he came into it. 

“We decided to do this to help with our grieving process and to try to help other people who went through our same situation,” Plasha said. That’s what Angel Names does; they provide funding for research on how to prevent stillborn deaths, but they also help less fortunate families or lower-income families pay for the funeral cost and everything that comes along with that. We did hear from Angel Names that the donations that we made last year paid for a funeral.” 

This is the second year the Plashas organized this event. They call it the #TeamEmry 5k Walk and Fundraiser. 

This year, the 5k walk was held on Aug. 12 at the Garnet Valley High School athletic complex. Both years, roughly 100 people walked the 5k. 

After the walk, a gift basket raffle was held at Cocco’s Pizza in Aston, Pa., where participants bought raffle tickets and bid on different gift baskets. They also had T-shirts made that said, “TeamEmry pregnancy and infant loss awareness,” and sold them to people to wear during the walk. 

The most successful year yet

The Plashas’ goal was to raise more money than last year, which they successfully did, raising nearly $17,000. 

Local 420 members participated in the fundraising efforts and the 5k walk. Plasha attended a Local 420 Executive Board meeting and asked if the membership wanted to contribute to this cause. 

Each year, Local 420 was happy to donate $5,000, for a total donation of $10,000. 

“This year, we surpassed our goal and reached a total donation of $16,851.80, which will all be donated to Angel Names Association,” Ashley said. It was a very hot morning walking our 5k, but we all survived. As for the raffles at Cocco’s in Aston, we had a great turnout and enjoyed watching people bid on the donated baskets—a total of 59 this year!”

The Plashas got together with their family and friends and asked local businesses in the area for donations for the baskets. Businesses such as nail salons, pizza places, restaurants, and more donated gift cards and various items. 

The Plasha’s and their friends made their own baskets for the fundraiser. 

“We have a very big support group,” Plasha said. “We’re just very grateful for all the support we’ve had throughout the whole thing.”

The Plashas plan to continue their fundraising efforts for the Angel Names Association every year.

“My wife was about eight months pregnant during the last walk,” Plasha said. “It was pretty tough for her but we plan to continue every year. She’s a trooper.”

The Plashas have a 4-year-old daughter, Charlee, and a 2-month-old baby girl, Skylar. For more information about the nonprofit, visit